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American Bar Association

International Human Rights Award


2014 International Human Rights Award


Call for Nominations: Closed


Nominations for the ABA Section of Litigation International Human Rights Award are now closed. The International Human Rights Award is intended to honor and give public recognition to an individual who has made a special contribution in the area of human rights in a foreign jurisdiction.

Nominees for the award must have made substantial and long-term contributions in furtherance of civil rights, civil liberties, and/or human rights outside the United States. A “substantial” contribution shall be considered to be one demonstrating a level of dedication or achievement beyond that expected in the normal course of an individual’s work.  Nominees must be a lawyer or judge, but from any jurisdiction.

Selection Criteria:

The Section seeks individuals who have advanced justice and human rights through:

(1)        sustained, exceptional, and direct representation of and advocacy for persons whose human rights have been violated;
(2)        creation or significant expansion of access to a legal system for persons whose human rights may be or have been violated; and/or
(3)        direct representation in one or more cases that resulted in significant benefits to persons or groups whose human rights are or were on the verge of being violated.

The Section of Litigation International Human Rights Award was created in response to the knowledge that in many countries with repressive regimes, the regime is less likely to take retaliatory action (or is likely to take less harsh action) against a human rights advocate if the advocate has international connections and relationships. The Section stands behind those who have fought for basic human rights even when it may not be in their personal self-interest.


A list of past Section honorees can be found here.

The nomination form and accompanying materials including a “Statement of Reasons” can be submitted here.


If you have any questions regarding the award or the online submission process, please contact Theresa Livingston via email or at (312) 988-5490.